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What is yoghurt
Yoghurt is formed by the bacterial fermentation of milk. Yoghurt can only be made from milk, usually cow's milk is used. It is the bacteria in the milk that make it ferment, which produce lactic acid. It is the production of this lactic acid that reacts with milk proteins to form yoghurt. Currently, yoghurt, which is naturally acidic, is often eaten as a dessert or at breakfast with added sugar and fruit. You will also find the different uses that yogurt can be made in our articles.
Yoghurt is fermented milk, the probable origin of which is from the region from the Middle East to the Balkans, where many types of fermented milk have also developed. To learn more about the origins of yoghurt, see the article on the history of yoghurt.
It was only in the second half of the 20th century that yoghurt became a standard consumer product thanks to the development of its industrial production.
Yoghurt is therefore a dairy product. Yoghurt is produced by the fermentation action of live bacteria.
In yogurt, this bacterium is either Lactobacillus bulgaricus (called L. bulgaricus) or Streptococcus thermophilus (called S. thermophilus).
The fact that bacteria are alive is essential to the formation of yoghurt. It is the activity of living bacteria that turns lactose (a simple sugar) from milk into lactic acid, which in turn, because of its acidity, reacts with milk proteins and solidifies (at least thickens).
Some yogurts (another name for yogurt) are then pasteurized to destroy the bacteria before they are sold to the consumer. The yoghurt packaging should indicate whether there are live bacteria (ferments) present in the yoghurt.
Most people prefer yoghurt with live bacteria for perceived or real health reasons.
Note: In the United States, the "National Yogurt Association" (NYA) has defined specific criteria for living and active bacteria in yogurt. In order for yogurt manufacturers to be able to indicate on their product "live ferments," the refrigerated yogurt produced must contain more than 100 million crops per gram at the time of manufacture and 10 million crops per gram at the time of manufacture for frozen yogurt.
So 100 grams of yoghurt will contain 10 billion live bacteria! And that's why yoghurt is considered to be beneficial for health.
Consumption of yoghurt
The French are the second largest consumer of yoghurt in Europe (the first place being occupied by the Germans). Indeed, in 2005, more than 21 kilos of yoghurt per person were consumed in France, an increase of 20% in ten years.
Yoghurt is a living product, so live well with yoghurt.